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Recently, a morphological transition in the velocity distribution of a relativistic gas has been
pointed out which shows hallmarks of a critical phenomenon. Here, we provide a general framework which allows for a thermodynamic approach to such a critical phenomenon. We therefore construct a thermodynamic potential which upon expansion leads to Landau-like (mean-field) theory of phase transition. We are therefore able to calculate critical exponents and explain the spontaneous emergence of "order parameter" as a result of relativistic constraints. Numerical solutions which confirm our thermodynamic approach are also provided. Our approach provides a general understanding of such a transition as well as leading to some new results. Finally, we briefly discuss some possible physical consequences of our results as well as considering the case of quantum relativistic gases.
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